A. Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS
Dr. Desiree LaBeaud is a physician scientist, epidemiologist, and professor for the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. She studies the epidemiology and ecology of domestic and international arboviruses and emerging infections, with an interest in the vector, host, and environmental factors that affect transmission dynamics and spectrum of disease.
Dr. LaBeaud received her MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and trained with the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital pediatric residency program and the pediatric infectious disease fellowship program at Case Western Reserve University, while earning her master’s degree in Clinical Research and Epidemiology. She currently heads a clinical research lab focused on better understanding the risk factors and long-term health consequences of arboviral infections, specifically Rift Valley fever, chikungunya, dengue fever, and Zika disease. Her lab also investigates the genetic and immunologic differences that influence variable host responses to arboviral infections, and develops diagnostic tests that can be administered in the field to quickly and accurately determine infections. A primary focus is also to understand local and personal perceptions of mosquito-borne disease risk in order to engage community action in prevention. Her current field sites include Kenya, Grenada, and Brazil.
Dr. LaBeaud is affiliated with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources, and the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University. She serves as a Deputy Editor for the Public Library of Sciences Neglected Tropical Diseases Journal, as an Editorial Advisor for the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and is a reviewer for many scientific journals. She also serves on a number of National Institute of Health study sections, is the American Society of Tropical medicine and Hygiene Keen committee chair, and is an elected councilor and chair of the American Committee of Arthropod-borne Viruses (ACAV).
Eleonora Migliore, MS, MD, MS
I’m a the lab manager for the LaBeaud Lab, and Italian Licensed Clinical Pathologist with a background in primary tissue culture and cell biology. For four years I was involved in the Regenerative Medicine field related to the cartilage and musculoskeletal pathologies with the primary aim of the characterization and definition of fresh tissue primary cells.
Prior to come in USA and join PAVIR, I worked for several years as Clinical Pathologist at the Dermatological Hospital IDI in Rome, Italy. During that time I supported and coordinated daily clinical research study activities, ensuring that all studies were current IRB approval and assured that clinical research activities were performed in accordance with federal/state and institutional regulations, policies and procedures.
I’ve also been a Nutritionist Consultant and had the pleasure to work closely with people in private practice, developing and managing personalized food plans for healthy and diseased patients. I mainly assisted women in their 50s/60s who were struggling with their menopausal symptoms and other conditions related to the aging.
Sonia Alvarez, MA, MPH
Prior to migrating to the United States, I spent the early years of my life in Cuba and Puerto Rico. I obtained a Master of Arts degree in Social-Community Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras in 1980. After working various social service-related positions, I obtained a Master in Public Health degree at San Jose State University in 2008 to solidify my career in public health education. From inception, I have directed my professional choices towards social service programs and interventions aimed at restoring social justice and empowering the under-served. For the last fifteen years, I have planned, designed, taught, coordinated and evaluated community-based health education programs. I have mentored community health workers and trained trainers on the internationally known Stanford self-management programs. I am interested in high-quality, high-impact scientific research. I am also interested in being part of multi-disciplinary teams, translational research, and global health.
Amrik Kang, MS
I am an epidemiologist and the data manager for the LaBeaud Lab. I completed a graduate program in Epidemiology and Clinical Research with a concentration in Global Health at Stanford University. I am interested in studying and improving health outcomes in low and middle income countries – specifically, I am interested in the intersection of ecology, the spread of disease, and technology. I have broad experience in Global Health projects including increasing access to primary care for citizens of South Kivu (Democratic Republic of Congo), improving reproductive care for Syrian Refugees at the Bekaa Valley Camp (Lebanon), and restoring primary growth forest in Northern Borneo (Malaysia). I’m also interested in non-communicable diseases and was a member of the steering committee for the first ever NCDi (non-communicable disease innovation) symposium at Stanford.
I am interested in the interactions between host and pathogen, with a particular interest in functional mechanisms of antibodies. Currently, I am researching human responses to dengue virus and malaria infections in a project supported by an NIAID Career Development Award (K23 AI127909) and an Instructor K Award Support Program Award from the Maternal & Child Health Research Institute and Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. I earned my B.S. degree in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience from UC San Diego in 1996, and M.D. from University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine in 2000. I completed my pediatrics training at Children’s Hospital Oakland in 2007, during which I completed a Ruth L. Kirschstein post-doctoral research fellowship studying meningococcal vaccine responses. I completed my clinical fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine in 2009. I received my M.S. in Epidemiology and Clinical Research from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2019.
Jenna Forsyth, PhD
I am a postdoctoral fellow with the Woods Institute for the Environment. I completed my PhD with the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources and obtained her Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington. My research brings together principles of environmental science, epidemiology, and behavior change. I hope to develop and evaluate interventions to minimize exposures to contaminants and disease vectors in low-income countries. My most recent research on lead contamination in food has brought me to Bangladesh. I currently work with Dr. LaBeaud on a school- and community- program to reduce mosquito breeding via source reduction in coastal Kenya. We have expanded our focus to work with these communities to reuse and recycle plastic waste, a major source of mosquito breeding, thereby turning trash into treasure.
Aslam Khan, DO
I am a pediatric infectious diseases fellow with an interest in employing infectious diagnostics in resource limited settings, characterization of asymptomatic infections in specific populations, and global health. I received my bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology with emphasis in Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, Berkeley, my medical degree from Midwestern University AZCOM, and completed pediatrics training with a chief residency year at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. I will be evaluating asymptomatic infections for both chikungunya virus and dengue virus in Kenya and also aim to optimize the rRT-PCR multiplex testing with varying sample types. Outside the hospital and laboratory, I enjoy a multitude of sports (both playing and watching) and travel photography.
Izabela Mauricio Rezende, PhD
I am virologist and postdoctoral fellow for the LaBeaud Lab. I obtained my PhD in Microbiology from Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where I studied the yellow fever virus, regarding epidemiological, virological, and evolutive aspects from a huge YF outbreak that took place in Brazil. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Brazil, I worked on the diagnostic team at Laboratório de Vírus, Belo Horizonte, to face the advanced of the disease. At LaBeaud Lab I will try better describing the new clinical picture discovered during the YF outbreak in Brazil, named “Late-Relapsing hepatitis after yellow fever” concerning clinical, epidemiological and virological characteristics. We are also trying to better understand aspects related to the yellow fever outbreak, regarding the virus, epidemiology, risk factors, severity of the disease, severity predictors, outcomes, among others. I am interested in continuing working with viruses, specially emerging viruses, trying to better understand huge outbreaks and how virology, evolutive aspects and epidemiology can contribute and explain this scenario. I am also interested in emerging viruses’ molecular evolution and dynamics.
Keli Gerken, DVM
I am a veterinarian and post-doctoral researcher for the LaBeaud Lab. I am a Global Health Equity Scholar through the Fogarty International Program at the NIH. I received my DVM degree from North Carolina State University and a certificate in Global Health. While I was in veterinary school, I was heavily focused in epidemiology and public health and worked on a project in Ethiopia with woman dairy farmers. My professional interest in zoonotic diseases stem from my appreciation of the connection between livestock ownership and livelihoods, particularly with poor small stake holder farmers. As a member of the LaBeaud lab team, I will be based in Kenya coordinating a project to qualitatively assess community risk of Rift Valley Fever virus. This mixed methods project will test participants for acute infection and exposure to RVFV and utilize a questionnaire and focus group discussions to assess human-animal interactions and perceptions of potential vaccine use. I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was a little kid, and before vet school I never thought it would be possible to use my degree to contribute to such important research. Outside (and sometimes inside!) of work, I love to travel and be outdoors. When I need to get into my artistic side more, you can find me in the pottery studio. Of course I love animals, especially goats and my tabby cat Sheldon.
I am a doctoral student in Epidemiology and Population Health, and a graduate student in the LaBeaud Lab. I graduated from Princeton University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I spent two years working as a Systems Modeler at the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins University. I worked with the GOPC on assessing the effectiveness of obesity-related interventions in communities using systems science tools. My research interests include Global Health, Infectious Disease modeling and Health Policy in Low and Middle Income Countries. I am passionate about working to leverage the range of mathematical and computational tools available today to improve public health and combat disease in LMICs. My current research includes vaccine policy work, mathematical modeling of temperature dependence of arthropod vectors and vector control modeling work. Outside of class and research, I enjoy reading, swimming, photography and exploring the outdoors.
I am currently an undergraduate studying Human Biology with a concentration in computational epidemiology at Stanford University. Specifically, I am interested in better understanding human-vector interactions and their contribution to infectious diseases. Last summer, I interned at the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, focusing on conducting patient interviews and statistical analyses to identify and control food-borne illness outbreaks. In addition to research, I am passionate about hands-on patient care. For the past two years, I have volunteered at Pacific Free Clinic to help provide quality medical care to underserved patient populations in San Jose. I am currently a team manager for the Stanford men’s basketball team and enjoy playing basketball in my free time.
Gathenji Njoroge, MPH
I am a second-year Master of Public Health student in the Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology concentration at the University of California, Berkeley. While volunteering in medically-underserved regions of Kenya and Argentina, I developed an interest in public health and health equity. I have been working with Dr. LaBeaud and the team on school- and community-based programs to reduce mosquito breeding via source reduction in coastal Kenya. I have conducted field work for these projects in summer 2019 and support the team by mapping and performing data analyses. I am passionate about using data analytics and data-driven solutions to promote patient and community-level health, particularly in medically-underserved communities. In my free time, I enjoy reading, gardening and watching rugby.
Christopher John Puntasecca
I am currently a second-year medical student at Stanford, pursuing an MD with a concentration in Health Policy with an application in Global Health. I graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Classics. I am interested in health policies, global health, equity and health care access across the globe, and improving the understanding of neglected tropical diseases. In the LaBeaud Lab, I am working on estimating the global burden associated with arboviral disease.
Hannah Knotter, BS
I am a Lab Assistant at the LaBeaud Lab. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I got my bachelor’s in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department with a concentration in Marine Biology. I previously spent a year working as a lab assistant for the National Marine Fisheries Service on their cohort salmon ecology project monitoring the California salmon broodstock. I joined the LaBeaud Lab to explore my budding interest in disease ecology, molecular evolution of infectious diseases, and better accessibility in global health. I will be working in the lab doing molecular biology work and processing samples to assist our ongoing research on the dengue and chikungunya viruses in Kenya.
Bethel Alebel Bayrau
I am an undergraduate with a major in Human Biology and a minor in African Studies. My concentration is on infectious diseases in maternal and child health. I am interested in the intersection of viral infectious diseases, epidemiology, and maternal/child health; particularly pertaining to the sub-Saharan Africa region. At the LaBeaud lab, I will be working on two projects. One focusses on the burden of chikungunya and dengue infections in Kenya and the other on a school health promotion project in the Caribbean island of Grenada. On campus, I am co-President of the Stanford African Students’ Association and volunteer at the Pacific Free Clinic.
Anna Elizabeth Lachenauer, MD Candidate
I am currently a second-year medical student at Stanford. Before medical school, I worked in West Africa developing CRISPR-based diagnostics for infectious disease outbreaks. I graduated from Harvard in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy, and I am interested in the intersection of public health, infectious diseases and climate change. In the LaBeaud lab, I am working with Eleonora, the lab manager, to apply my previous diagnostic work to new pathogens.
Javarcia Davon Ivory, BS
I am an Epidemiology graduate student working on my master thesis and manuscript. At the LaBeaud Lab I will be investigating the usefulness of AJUA’s mobile phone-based technology to conduct surveillance of febrile disease in Kenya as part of our R01 cohort.
Kaitlyn Rose Mitchell, BS
I am a graduate student in Biology interested in zoonotic disease transmission dynamics and within-host processes. I received my bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Washington in 2018. My previous research includes work on treatment-resistant cancers and the impact of climate change on shellfish aquaculture. My experiences curated my focus on using inter-disciplinary methods to study infectious disease across scales to improve human and environmental health collectively. In the LaBeaud Lab, I investigate potential correlations between maternal parasitic infections, infant vaccine response and iron-deficiency anemia. Additionally, I assess parasitological and immune outcomes based on nutrition and arbovirus exposure in children in Kenya. I am passionate about global health equity and mentorship.
I am an undergraduate student at Rice University majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology with minors in Global Health Technologies and Business. I am working in the LaBeaud lab as a data assistant and I am particularly interested in the Grenada School Intervention Project because I am very interested in educating kids. At Rice, I am part of a club that goes to elementary schools to teach them various topics in science, and that is why I found this project so appealing. I hope to attend medical school in the future and my goal is to tackle the health disparities in underserved communities.
Claire Jane Heath, PhD
Monica Nayakwadi Singer, MD
Noah McKittrick, MD
Priyanka Suresh, MBBS
Nienke (C.J.) Alberts, PhD, MSc
Jamie Caldwell, PhD
Jonathan Altamirano, MS
Amy Krystosik, MPH, PhD
Melisa Shah, MD, MPH
Elysse N. Grossi-Soyster, MS
Shama Cash-Goldwasser, MD, MPH
Sabrina Kang, MPH